The other day, here at the Source Support Services office, I was debriefing my team about my latest business trip, and we were commenting on how different the world of Source is today compared to when we started some 17 years ago. We were having a conversation about the “way things were” when Source began its global services business back in 2001.
“Remember how much time we used to spend just trying to convince people to outsource?” was a question we all shook our heads over. Wow, have things changed. In every customer meeting I’m in today, the concept of outsourcing is not only a given, it’s a “demand” when it comes to global support Services, a far cry from the “old days” when companies would try to build, from within, their own service functions and handle all service events with their own staff and infrastructure.
So, what caused this change? How did it happen that outsourcing service became such a popular and fashionable thing to do? Here are some reasons:
- Quite simply, the world got smaller.
- I say it all the time. A global offering is the only offering these days, so even the startups are requiring a global service presence before they begin shipping product. The Enterprise world is a demanding one, and if you’re not able to service product quickly (same day/next day) you’re going to lose, and to get technicians out to over 100 countries today or tomorrow is simply not possible, let alone affordable.
- Operating internationally is also complex and difficult. The rules of engagement are different in every country you sell into, and staying on top of everything is incredibly hard. Companies today do not have the patience, the time or the budget to effectively gain the knowledge in-house to effectively deliver global services.
- The Enterprise world is not a patient one.
- A successful global service offering is more than just a 24/7 technical support desk (notice I did not say call center). Quality field service professionals are required to be dispatched today. Replacement parts need to be on-site tomorrow, or today, or even in the next 2 hours. Finally, you better have a Platform that ties all aspects of the service offering and the service events together in real time. All of this is needed right now, not in a few weeks, or months, or the years it would take to build it (I know, Source has been building it for the IT space for over 17 years).
- By outsourcing service, companies can also offload inventory planning, parts shipping, logistics and other functions associated with providing service. By doing so, they save all the costs associated with having to do it all themselves.
- Investing in services is a balance sheet no-no.
- In today’s market-driven world, if companies want to please shareholders and potential investors, they are investing in R&D and Sales and Marketing. This is something I never talked about 10 years ago, but today having services as a limited cost to your balance sheet is a huge benefit to partnering with a quality driven global services partner like Source.
- Tech providers have found it’s more cost-efficient and simple to outsource the service function instead of building their own. And the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing; in fact, it’s clear that outsourcing service is quickly becoming a best practice for tech providers.
Source has achieved record growth the past three years and I truly believe that the combination of the above three points. To succeed in this smaller, less patient and financial savvy technology world requires smart and effective outsourcing of global service. This enables the OEMs, ODMs and Systems Integrators (SIs) to focus all their time and energy on doing what they do best!
At Source, we stand ready to help with your service needs – what we do best! Our core business is ensuring that your customers receive superior service and support – and ensuring we represent you in the best possible manner. No matter where your customers are, and what their service events require, we can help.